Before I continue drawing my map of the Lake District I want to tell you about a fantastic album by a fantastic band from Canada. The album is And Down Goes the Sky, the band Au4.
It’s strange how you come across bands and songs. Earlier this year I was watching one of the final episodes of Continuum. Season 2 was wrapping up, I didn’t have a clue what was going on and the misery montage began. You know the misery montage: it’s that five minutes at the end of every television episode with no dialogue and a lot of people with pained expressions acting moody to a miserable soundtrack (usually by Linkin Park).
But this time it was different. People were being rounded up. The police had turned all Stasi and no one knew who was going to be arrested next. And all this happened against a song which stopped me in my tracks. I hunted the net to find the series soundtrack, got sent down a few blind alleys and eventually learned the song was called Everyone is Everyone (And Everything is Everything.)
Up to this point I had never heard of Au4. The name is pronounced oh-four, and derives from several elements as the band’s website explains:
Au: to the, at the, with
4: Life (Chambers of the Heart, Valency of Carbon); Reality (Dimensions, Great Elements); Death (Far East Tradition, Horsemen of the Apocalypse)
And everything included in that list is on this album. Songs of peculiarity, life narratives, laments to growing up, scientific wonder. The songs whisper in your ear, thump your chest, barge the senses and seep so deep into your conscience they lie there for months and you hear them playing to themselves during quiet moments.
After Continuum and discovering the album a strange occurence took place as one song after another rolled out of the speakers. I thought to myself ‘there’s a novel here.’ And my plans for the third Toten Herzen book were seriously upended to the point where I’m considering writing both at the same time.
What does And Down Goes the Sky sound like? Hard to say. Some bands are simply eclectic because they don’t know what they’re doing, but Au4’s eclecticism is genius. Throw the bells and whistles of electronica into a bowl with soaring male and female vocals, add some thumping bass lines and top-heavy guitar work, big pads, a few trumpets here and there and you might start to get an understanding what Au4 are about.
And if you’re still not convinced, there’s a guitar solo on the track Over the Edge It Goes that would give Dave Gilmour a run for his money.
It’s a beautiful, clever, witty, magnificent, thought-provoking awe-inspiring album, immaculately produced, flawlessly performed and without Continuum’s misery montage I might never have discovered it.
Au4 are Ben, Aaron and Nathan Wylie and Jason Nickel.
Visit the website where they allow you to download their music free. Au4.ca
And check the song Everyone is Everything here at Youtube.